Masked Thieves Steal Seventeen Paintings from Museum in Verona

Masked robbers broke into the Castelvecchio, in Verona, Italy, and stole seventeen paintings, worth up to an estimated sixteen million dollars, just before the museum closed for the evening on 20 November 2015. The thieves approached before alarms had been turned on, entering and tying up the evening watchman alongside another employee. The thieves have been captured on the museum’s closed-circuit surveillance system. “Robbers entered the museum just at the time of exchange between museum staff and private security,” Mayor Flavio Tosi said in a statement. He mentioned that although the museum was under complete video surveillance, “the anti-theft systems, at the time of the robbery, were not yet activated”. Tosi also suspects that the robbery was planned by a private collector “Someone sent them, they were skilled, they knew exactly where they were going”. Among the 17 artworks, were masterpieces The Lady of Licnidi by Peter Paul Rubens and Portrait of Marco Pasqualigo by Domenico...

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Two stolen artworks by Goya and Rubens returned to Voergaard Castle

The Portrait of Marie de Médicis by Rubens and Le Fou by Goya that were stolen in 2008 at the Voergaard Castle, in Denmark, reappeared in June 2015. The two thieves stole the paintings in 2008 and have already served their sentence, however, they did not disclose the location of the artworks. The sum they obtained from the theft was estimated around €13 million. A month ago, the two paintings reappeared, and a first examination by experts proved that the two match the period of Goya and Rubens. A more detailed verification of authenticity by experts in Spain and the Netherlands is required in order to confirm they correspond to the two stolen artworks. The Voergaard Castle was owned by Count Oberbeck-Clausen, whose spouse owned a vast collection of paintings including pieces by Goya, Raphaël and Rubens. Following the Count’s death, the Castle became a museum and opened to the public....

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Rubens work authenticated after centuries of mis-appropriation

Ben van Beneden, director of the Rubenshuis Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, has announced that a portrait of Rubens’ daughter, Clara Serena, until now attributed to a student of the painter, was in fact the work of the master himself. From 28 March until 28 June, the painting is to form part of the exhibition “Rubens in Private” at the Rubenshuis Museum. In 2013, the work, then thought to be that of one of Rubens’ pupils and previously owned by The Met museum, was put up for auction with an estimated value of between $20,000 and $30,000. It was owned by a New York collector in the 1930s and was considered an authentic Rubens until an American specialist, Julius Held, downgraded it in 1959. The following year, the work was given to The Met where it was catalogued as a copy in Rubens’ style, dating from the 17th century. The painting was finally sold by Sotheby’s New York for the equivalent of 20 times its estimate: $626,500. This signifies that at least two auctioneers thought the piece was authentic. Its current owner, a London-based collector, lent the piece to the Prince of Lichtenstein who allowed the museum to borrow it for its exhibition. Although the director of the museum has confirmed the piece’s authenticity, dating the piece to 1620-1623, David Jaffe, a Rubens specialist and former curator at the National Gallery, has expressed his...

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Reubens exhibition at the Royal Academy

The work of Reubens, the artist known as “the prince of painters”, is to be displayed at The Royal Academy in London from 24 January to 10 April, in an exhibition entitled “Rubens and His Legacy”. The talents of the Flemish painter, who was employed to decorate palaces and banqueting halls, appeased the horror vacui of a whole generation of monarchs. However, some people wonder whether “the prince of painters” deserves such a title, saying that although his skills as a decorated are unrivalled, the artist’s energy seems fragile when compared to that of Rembrandt, Vélazquez or Caravaggio. Reubens seems to fear darkness, never reaching the depths of Caravaggio’s terrifying shadows. This fear is perhaps explained by the tragic events in his life, such as his parents’ escape from the wars of religion between the Protestants and Catholics. When examined more carefully, his paintings include numerous illustrations of cruelty and violence. The artist’s work contains tones of psychological darkness, but he also attempts to overcome these through civilisation. His understanding of a balance between good and evil, order and chaos, has been praised and admired as a triumph of...

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Manufacturing art: A history of the artist’s studio

Paris, 5 December 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Contemporary perceptions of artists are often heavily influenced, and informed by, the environments in which they work. For David Hockney, the still, blue-skied heat of Los Angeles shaped now-iconic works such as Splash, whilst Edward Hopper’s paintings of city scenes exude a sense of the 1940s New York in which they were produced. Of all the locations associated with the artist, however, it is the artist’s studio which is perhaps the most intimate, compelling and revered space. Places such as Warhol’s Factory have become inseparably linked to the artist’s work, and to a broader notion of how art should be conceived and produced. For other artists, such as Anselm Kiefer – whose work space takes the form of several open fields in the South of France – the studio becomes expansive, growing to form a site which resembles an artist-dedicated theme park. We considered the history and development of the atelier, looking at how artist’s studios have shaped their production, and how contemporary arts spaces are forming production today. The early atelier Away from Warhol’s comparatively starry factory, medieval studios frequently lacked the enigmatic quality associated with their contemporary equivalents. Often merging art with craftsmanship, ateliers of the period frequently had decidedly practical associations; it was perhaps hard for artists of the period to cultivate temples to their production whilst those around them fixed doors, filled holes, and constructed. Adding to this sense of anonymity was the social landscape at the time: artistic production of the period was predominantly seen as a way of honouring God. To produce art therefore, though often implying considerable talent, was to undertake an act of religious subservience. It’s not a bottega, it’s a studiolo The later Renaissance saw the dawn of the “Renaissance Man”, the...

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